Today, I’m meeting up with team KTM at the hotel, together, we’re going to ride out to the desert where the bikes are parked. I thought this was a normal KTM Adventure, we were just hopping on the bikes and go for a ride with another guy or two. There were a number of other riders who brought their own gear from all over the world. I was in the truck with, Tina Mierer, a Dakar rally racer and a few other interesting faces. I was thinking this invite was more than just your average KTM Adventure ride.We arrived in the desert to find two Factory riders there, Ruben Faria and Marc Coma. The best part about it is we would be riding their FACTORY bikes! I was very excited!! Since there was so many of us each person would get to ride with a factory rider on one of their bikes for around 30 minutes. Then after the factory rides we’d go for a ride on the KTM 990 Dakar edition bikes. This was so great I felt like a kid in a candy store!!
The desert was very windy having temperatures reaching 107 F. Tim, the owner of the KTM dealership, who was helping put this on, told me to suit up and hop on. Since Marc was out with some other riders I would be taking Ruben Faria’s bike out. I borrowed a helmet and I couldn’t mount the GoPro camera to it, I had to mount it to the front of the bike on top of the route sheet. Unfortunately, with the extreme amounts of vibration, the imaging wasn’t very stable but it’s video at least!We took off on this small 5km track they laid out, giving you the opportunity to ride the bike at it’s full potential. This bike has 52 mm forks giving it a more plush ride while racing through the deep whoops at high speeds. The bike developed great power and amazing sound but the best part is when you thought you were at full throttle and still had another ¼ more! AMAZING!! The whole time I’m riding all I could yell was, “POWER.” Reminding me of the guys on top gear, when they came out of the corner driving the Bugatti Veyron, now I know that feeling!The bars were very wide and the bike sat very high off the ground, but, none of that bothered me. The idea of the speed you could reach in no time at all was the scary part of the ride. Hitting speeds over 100 mph was no issue, and after I hit a few whoops at + 100 mph which gave me white knuckles, I slowed down a bit. We rode through the desert, over sand dunes and a few gravel sections. Ruben explained to me it was faster to drive around a tall sand dune at high speed rather than just to ride over it. I never thought about that before, but could see his point after climbing a few.
The middle of the dessert where we were parked was owned by a farmer whose camels would walk around out there. There was a few locations on the ride where we had to avoid the very large camels. Wow what a trip right? The riding was great and so were the people I was with. This is one adventure I think everyone should come and do!After riding we all piled back into the SUVs and headed home. But you know what happens when you get 4 guys driving 4 SUVs.… A race occurs! After the long day of riding in the heat, all hell breaks loose, as we held on for deal life. All 4 SUVs were racing to see who’d be first to the road. Our’s was running second but the fourth place vehicle wasn’t having that. He didn’t lift from the throttle enabling him to make it to the front of the pack. It was great watching him and the first truck going at it, neither were backing down. They hit speeds of just over 100. It was a blast. The heat and all this excitement had me looking forward to the pool.Just as I started to relax, we passed a group of SUVs off-roading. Everyone wanted to off road with them. As we pulled over, one of their drivers told us that KTM set a surprise for all of us. We grabbed our gear and jumped into their SUV that was driven by a driver from Dubai, we knew we were in for a ride. Our new ride was a stock Nissan SUV fitted with a full roll cage.
Off we went into the desert, once again, pin it to win it style. Having stock suspension and stock motors didn’t slow these guys down. In their minds, they were all world rally racers and here to prove it to us. Bouncing around a bit, we arrived at a camp that was set up with tents and rugs, and our dinner. A camel even came out to great us! I asked if we could go for a ride on the camel and they were accommodating. I got to ride a camel! They also had a Falcon we could hold and take pictures with while dinner was being cooked. It was so exciting!!We were served a few drinks while sitting on the rugs waiting for all of the food to be brought out. As we watched the beautiful sunset, you could feel the air getting cooler yet the sand was still very warm on your feet. A few quads road past, heading back to their trucks. For dinner, we had lamb and a few other things, I wasn’t sure what they were but most of them tasted great. Shortly after eating we heard two four strokes coming through the desert. From their sounds, we all were pretty sure they weren’t your normal Dubai rider. Can you imagine our surprise when Ruben Faria and Marc Coma came over the hill and parked on the red carpet. How great it is, eating out in the middle of the desert in DUBAI!!!
Our entertainment was a belly dancer who was flirting with some of the girls who were there making them blush, it was cute. After the belly dancer, a guy come out with a dress on, big boots and a strange hat. He started to twirl around and around with his big dress on. He had pants on underneath and he kept spinning. After about a minute he took the top layer of the dress off to reveal 5 umbrellas. Yes, umbrellas were attached to his dress. He kept twirling for around 30 minutes slowly taking different dresses off and spinning them over his head making cool shapes. It got dark all of a sudden and his dress was covered in LED lights. This was cool, the lights were changing colors and shapes as he spun. It was crazy how long he could keep spinning and not get sick.The great day was nearing its end when Ruben Faria and Marc Coma jumped on their bikes. They were wide open full throttle out of camp. You could see them screwing around by their lights. Ruben slid a little wide and tipped over, everyone laughed, including him. The two of them headed off again this time for the hotel like the rest of us. I enjoyed eating dinner and enjoying the show in the middle of the desert. I was honored to be a part of it all!! When you are in Dubai, look up KTM Adventures and go for a ride, it will be one of the greatest rides of your life!!For more videos on my adventures check out:www.TrekkingWithTrav.com